As a busy midwife and mum to young children and dogs, Helene Wackers was looking for a flexible, professional course that would develop the artsy side of her brain.
Helene told us that our intermediate Knitting course (Skill Stage 3) has forced her to practice technical knitting skills that she previously believed were beyond her reach. Now with new skills and feeling truly inspired, she is embarking on our advanced knitting course (Skill Stage 4). This is her incredible #MyStitchJourney.
“I would highly recommend studying with the School of Stitched Textiles. If you are anything like me, with gazillion interests, a million started projects and no real sense of where to begin, this course will offer you structure and framework, without limiting your artistic desires.”
As a child I grew up surrounded by crafting and textile projects. My mother was always busy ‘making’ and I had one grandmother who was a tailor and another who was an avid knitter. The latter taught me the basics of knitting. As an impatient seven year old, though, I grew quickly frustrated and put knitting aside
It was not until I moved from the Netherlands to Norway and became pregnant with my second child, that I picked up knitting again to make a baby blanket. After that, my love of knitting grew daily. My skills improved with experience and the help of my colleagues at work, while slowly progressing from hats to sweaters.
Eventually, I wanted to do more than painstakingly follow knitwear designers’ patterns. I was still at a loss when I needed to find, let alone fix, my mistakes. And I had no real grasp of how to customise patterns to obtain a better fit. Above all, I felt a growing desire to create; to not only make, but to dream up and make.
I decided to look for a knitting course. My requirement was that the course was not just technical. It needed to inspire and support my dreaming up of things to knit. I liked the idea of an accredited course as one expects a certain level of expertise in the teaching, as well as from the students.
The course in Hand Knitting with the School of Stitched Textiles ticked all the boxes, and then some. The school offers the distant learning I needed in order to be able to attend any course at all. They also assured me there would be direct contact with, and help from, an expert tutor. So, I enrolled in Skill Stage 3.
The course has certainly challenged me, and has repeatedly forced me to think differently. This has broadened my view of what can be achieved with knitting, as well as teaching me how to work from inspiration, through a design process, to completing finished and unique pieces. This process; translating a source of inspiration into a tangible, knitted object that still reflects my inspirational source, has actually been my biggest challenge and has, thus, taught me the most.
Through my daily work as a midwife I had become so used to thinking creatively in a whole different way, that the ‘artsy’ side of my brain felt seriously underdeveloped. It has been very enriching to grow more in that sense.
The course has also pushed me to practice technical knitting skills I would previously have believed were beyond my reach; cables, lace, intarsia, twisted stitches, I have now tried and embraced them all. I have also expanded my knowledge of diverse materials and the importance of how and when to use them.
Looking ahead, I want to keep creating and eventually share my creations through offering knitting designs. A huge inspiration for me generally, and for my future knitting patterns specifically, are fairytales and the art of storytelling. In that spirit I am working to launch my website for SCÉAL needlework©, where I hope to be able to offer a combination of both.
To ensure that I can deepen my skill set and develop the professionalism of my craft further, I have now enrolled in Skill Stage 4 in Hand Knitting with the School of Stitched Textiles. Apart
from eagerly looking forward to learning more, I am also very happy to have my expert tutor back by my side. She has provided tailored insight whenever I needed it, and has been cheering me on throughout.
I would highly recommend studying with the School of Stitched Textiles. If you are anything like me, with gazillion interests, a million started projects and no real sense of where to begin, this course will offer you structure and framework, without limiting your artistic desires. The only potential setback is oneself, and every time my tutor has helped me to get out of my own way and move on up.
My advice to anyone starting a course here, would be to utilize the course’s structure, ask your tutor ‘dumb’ questions and, most importantly, create a realistic timeline for finishing each module. For me, with a busy working life and young children and dogs to care for, that is my biggest take-away and one that I will fully implement as I embark on my Skill Stage 4 journey.
Do not let the fear of ‘not being able to’ get in the way. Through this course, I have gone from
‘probably not being good enough’ to Pippi Langström’s “I have never done this, so I am sure I can”.